According to The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention 45 million people 12 years of age and older have been exposed to genital herpes virus, and over 110 million people in the U.S. have been diagnosed with herpes simplex virus-1 or herpes simplex virus-2. Each year another 250 thousands people get infected with herpes. First herpes outbreak usually occurs within two weeks after the exposure, but taking a herpes virus blood test is the easiest way to indicate a herpes infection.
Herpes is a very common disease caused by herpes simplex virus-1 (HSV-1) and herpes simplex virus-2 (HSV-2). Herpes simplex virus-1 symptoms include cold sores on the mouth, lips and face, while herpes simplex virus-2 causes sores on the genitals. Even when herpes is not in an active state it can spread to the genitals through oral or genital intercourse, or even from a cold sore if hygiene precautions are not taken properly.
Thousands of people have been carrying herpes for years without any knowledge of it. According to recent studies, about 75% of people who have herpes are not even aware of it. Sometimes an individual gets exposed to herpes, has initial outbreak, but does not have any symptoms of herpes any further. Various factors including illness, stress, unhealthy diet, can often cause herpes outbreak, but most of the time weakened immune system triggers herpes symptoms. Strong immune system helps prevent herpes outbreaks, but even when immune system is strong enough to fight herpes the virus can hide from immune defenses in the nerve cells, then reappear after some time and trigger herpes symptoms. As soon as herpes virus enters a human body it goes directly into the nerves where it can stay for months or even years. In some cases herpes never awakens, although more often weakened immune system, stress or poor health cause another herpes outbreak.
Unfortunately, there is still no herpes cure breakthrough. Prescribed herpes medications, over-the-counter creams and gels and different herpes treatments can help with herpes symptoms. Keep in mind, that they often push herpes virus deeper in the body (herpes remains in the nerve cells located along the spinal cord). Acyclovir (antiviral drug), for example, has been proven to be effective in herpes treatment, but after some time patients often develop resistance to it, not to mention that it has many side effects.
Herpes Simplex Virus Preventative Care
– Avoid kissing people with herpes blisters
– Never share personal items (hairbrushes, utensils, cups, etc.)
– Minimize stress
– Regularly wash hands and wrists
– Apply sunscreen
– Do not engage in oral sex
Herpes Simplex Virus 2:
– Avoid having sex with an individual who has herpes outbreak
– Don’t touch cold sores
– Always use condoms
– Reduce the number of sexual partners